That companies need to respond to the issue of climate change is no longer in question and with multiple carbon management activity options to choose from, companies need to select the most appropriate carbon management strategy to meet the challenges of a carbon constrained future. Because of South Africa’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change as a developing country and because of business’ pivotal role in addressing this urgent issue, it is important to characterise the corporate responses to climate change. The contextual factors that influence carbon management strategy decisions need to be understood so that appropriate policy decisions are taken to encourage innovation related to climate change opportunities.To this end, secondary data in the form of qualitative responses from 70 large South African listed companies to the Carbon Disclosure Project 2011 questionnaire were analysed for this study during September and October 2012. The detailed responses were first mined using a text-mining statistical program to identify the five carbon management activities currently practised by the companies. A cluster analysis of these activities revealed four general response strategies to climate change and carbon emission reduction pressures.The companies were found to have a strong focus on saving energy with less focus on higher-order sustainability activities. While market capitalisation, turnover, sector and carbon commitment were shown to correlate and indeed predict the carbon management strategy chosen by companies, no significant link was found between carbon management strategy and corporate financial performance.